AR-15 Most Popular Rifle in the U.S.


In recent months, we’ve seen the AR-15 in the news more often than usual. It makes sense, for such a polarizing item. For millions of Americans, this is a rifle that elicits a specific range of emotions. The AR-15 is a hot-topic item, with conversations including availability, regulations, and outlawing.

The AR-15 is related to the Armalite AR-15, a gas-operated rifle adopted from the 1960s. One family, “The Black Rifle” has scores of cousins and configurations.

Why is AR-15 so popular?

The success of this rifle can be traced to its engineering and U.S. Patent Law. At its most simple, an AR-15 is a fairly basic machine that takes advantage of simple physics. Take a tube, add an accelerant, and then put a projectile in front of that force. This pushes it out of the tube at high speeds.

For as long as rifles have been around, it wasn’t until the end of the 1700s that these items came with interchangeable parts.

Before the late 1700s, every rifle was a one-of-a-kind possession, and manufacturers made each one individually. If it happened to break, the owner would need to take it to a smith who made the parts necessary to fix it.

Now a rifle could be modified, repaired, and completely built with interchangeable parts. More advancements included firing faster, insertable magazines containing multiple rounds and improvements in design made rifles lighter and easier to use. And the AR-15 lead this movement.

A Further Look

As a result, the engineers shifted their attention from shot quality to shot quantity. In 1956, in response to the need for speed, E.M Stoner applied for a patent that describes a simple method for siphoning expanding gases from accelerating black powder to operate the reloading mechanism of a military rifle. This opened the door for better-performing and longer-lasting automatic items for military combat.

American military studies completed during World War II and the Korean War discovered the following: when armed with an automatic rifle firing as long as the trigger was squeezed, soldiers would shoot at a large area to suppress the enemy rather than aiming at specific targets.

The U.S. patent law comes into play once in the public domain. Companies now could take advantage of this firing system, and the interchangeable parts.  

People can even 3D-print parts to build a black rifle — someone did in 2013 and fired over 600 rounds!

An owner could swap in different uppers for varmint, big game hunting or target practice. Or different lowers to accommodate various magazines or stocks. The lowers are what actually legally constitutes the rifle. That’s where the serial number is, and it contains the action as well. These interchangeable parts can alter the type and caliber of shot, the type of magazine, and can even accommodate a scope.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates 5 to 10 million AR-platform rifles are in circulation in the U.S. but no one knows exactly how many. 

AR-15: The More You Know

When it comes to rifle ownership, understanding where you’re coming from will help you know where you’re going. Hopefully, today’s article will give you the key points you need to understand the rifle industry.

Visit Ormond Arms to pick out your 80% lower AR 15 rifle build kit, today, and carry on this proud tradition of rifle ownership. If you are still not sure about AR 15 Riffles, be sure to learn about AR 80 Lower.